Radiator better paint or spray the paint

Whether a radiator with brush and roller is painted or the color is sprayed, is primarily a matter of taste. Both methods are also easy to use by laymen. The preparations are similar. When painting, the color distribution in the area can be better controlled. Spraying calls for more extensive coverage.

Two types of paint that must be temperature-resistant

Radiators are painted or varnished with acrylic varnish or varnish made from alkyd resin. In contrast to spraying or painting heating pipes, heat permeability is important. In addition, paints that are temperature-resistant must be selected. Suitable special paints are available as brush paint and spray paint.

  • Acrylic varnish is based on water, smells less strong and hardly yellows. It dries faster than alkyd resin products.
  • Alkyd resin paint is based on solvents, which leads to a prolonged development of odors. It dries more slowly than acrylic lacquer because the solvents take longer to escape. The paint is cheaper, particularly hard and available in high-gloss versions.

Radiator types and shapes

When planning the paintwork, the shape of the radiator plays an important role. The most common are rib heaters and panel radiators. The panel radiators have a smooth, continuous front made of sheet metal. There are cover plates on the sides. The top is covered by a perforated or slotted cover sheet. Sectional and ribbed radiators consist of flat ribs or round rods arranged side by side or one above the other. While there is no need to paint the back of panel radiators, the color of ribbed models must be distributed as completely and all around as possible.

Long-handled brushes with angled bristle heads are also suitable for reaching the more difficult-to-reach rear regions of the ribs or limbs. For spray paints, we recommend a bendable and flexible spray hose that can also be used to spray in hard-to-reach areas.

Spray mist versus paint drops

A crucial difference between the methods of applying the paint is the dosage. While spraying often results in insufficient coverage, application with a brush and roller tends to overdose. In addition, both types of work have special characteristics that must be taken into account.

To brush

  • Noses can result from overdosing
  • Streak-free painting can be difficult
  • Detached brush hairs can stick in the paint


  • The correct and as uniform as possible distance must be observed everywhere
  • The spray mask obscures the coverage result

Mask, cover and protect

Any control knob that may be present should be removed for both painting and spraying. The thermostat is precisely masked with adhesive tape. When painting, it is usually sufficient to cover the area under the radiator, as dripping paint always falls down.

When spraying, a fine paint mist is created, which is generously distributed in the area. Before spraying, the wall behind the radiator must be completely covered with foil. Ideally, the area around the radiator is protected in every direction with a distance of at least eight inches.

Tips & Tricks Make sure to avoid drafts when spraying. Close windows and, if necessary, block doors for the duration of the spraying process.